Entheogenesis 2: Prof. Francis Thackeray on Shakespeare’s Pipes

Marc Emery gives some short opening comments and introduces the first Presenter, Prof. Francis Thackeray of the Transvaal Museum in South Africa, who discusses his research connecting Shakespeare with Cannabis use. Careful analysis of Shakespearean texts suggests that William Shakespeare, a prolific wordsmith, was aware of the stimulating properties of Cannabis sativa. Chemical analysis of residues in clay pipes from Startford-upon-Avon and elsewhere supports the view that Cannabis and other “compounds” were being smoked in 17th century England, even after the Pope had declared Cannabis to be associated with witchcraft.
Francis Thackeray is a palaeontologist currently based at the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria, South Africa, where he is Head of the Department of Vertebrates. Having studied in the fields of archaeology and zoology at the University of Cape Town, he obtained his doctorate in anthropology at Yale. He has published more than 200 articles on a diversity of subjects, including chemical analysis of fossilised bones and teeth. He has interests in English literature and African art. Chemical analysis of clay pipes from Europe and Africa has been undertaken with the objective of identifying stimulants at least potentially associated with art and literature.